What's on this week: 10 December
Brussels vocal ensembles, English-language comedy shows and Chinese-style New Year celebrations: our pick of events across Flanders and Brussels
Performance: Stand-Up Antwerp, Out of the Cellar
The night is headlined by Anglo-Irish comic Sean Hughes (pictured), perhaps most famous for his role in the long-lived BBC quiz show Never Mind the Buzzcocks. What most youngsters don’t know is that before Buzzcocks Hughes was a fixture of the 1980s alternative British comedy scene. Stand-Up Antwerp’s other international guest comics are Christian Schulte-Loh, Isak Jansson and Maureen Younger.
13 December, 20.15 at Arenberg Schouwburg, Antwerp
Classical: O Magnum Mysterium
Brussels vocal ensemble Via Vocis, jazz saxophonist Tim Acke and Syrian singer Nour Lahdo join forces to interpret the Latin chant O Magnum Mysterium. This isn’t your Father’s hymnal, though. Their genre-busting production blends Renaissance music, contemporary composition, saxophone virtuosity and age-old ecclesiastical tradition. The Ronse performance is the launch of a series of church concerts. More than just a holiday celebration, this sax-heavy programme pays tribute to the instrument’s Belgian inventor, Adolphe Sax, whose 200th birthday was celebrated nationwide this year.
12 December, 20.00 at Sint-Hermes Church, Ronse
Visual arts: Lascaux
In 1940, a mischievous bunch of schoolboys made the archaeological discovery of the 20th century. The cave complex at Lascaux, in the south of France, contains nearly 1,000 well-preserved wall paintings and etchings created a full 20,000 years ago. These depictions of local fauna give both the scientist and the layperson a tantalising glimpse into prehistory. Tourists, including an awe-struck Pablo Picasso, flocked in droves until the site was sealed in the interest of preservation in the 1960s. Now all of Europe can enjoy the travelling exhibition Lascaux, which features a high-tech recreation of the original caves.
Until 15 March at Jubelpark Museum, Brussels
Family: China Light Zoo
Antwerp Zoo celebrates the New Year in Chinese style. Dozens of Chinese artists have helped bring the traditional light festival to the port city. Lanterns and smaller sculptures were shipped via container from China; the larger installations were built on-site by local and Chinese artisans. Among these lanterns and luminous animals, you can enjoy traditional Chinese snacks and drinks as well as dance and acrobatic performances. The end product is a spectacle worthy of the mythological sky god Tai-yi. The zoo lights up every evening at 18.00. Tickets for special events are required as capacity is limited.
Until 18 January at Antwerp Zoo
More events that deserve your attention
Irish Club Christmas concert: The Irish in Europe Association International presents its second annual Christmas concert, featuring Belgian, Irish, English, Hungarian, German and American carols, with Dénes Dosztán on piano.
13 December 12.30-14.30, Sint-Gorikshallen, Brussels
Admission: One Shilling: Award-winning British actress Patricia Routledge (otherwise known as Hyacinth Bucket) pays homage to the great British pianist Myra Hess and tells of her concerts in London’s National Gallery during the Second World War. Australian pianist Piers Lane provides musical accompaniment by Schubert, Brahms and Bach.
20 December 20.15-21.15, De Warande, Warandestraat 42, Turnhout
Renaissance Drawings: More than 40 unique drawings from private Antwerp collections featuring examples of refined penwork in both compositional drawings and landscapes dating from the 16th century, when drawing first started to gain recognition in Europe as an art form in its own right.
Until 25 January, Mayer van den Bergh Museum, Lange Gasthuisstraat 19, Antwerp
Donkere kamers: Over melancholie en depressie (Dark Rooms: On Melancholy and Depression.): Works by a diverse range of international artists illustrate the various faces of centuries of melancholy, revealing a long-standing artistic fascination with the condition and how it differentiates itself from its contemporary, pathologised counterpart, depression.
Until 31 May, Guislain Museum, J Guislainstraat 43, Ghent
Ice Sculpture Festival: Artists create a fairy-tale world in snow and ice, inspired by famous attractions from Disneyland Paris, with the most beloved and imaginative Disney characters in the main roles.
Until 4 January 10.00-19.00, Vlaamsekaai, Antwerp
Classics by UFK: The Belgian Film Critics Association (UFK) celebrates its 60th anniversary with screenings of all of the films that have won its grand prize for Best Film of the Year over the past 60 years, some of them with an introduction by a UFK member.
Until 28 February, Cinematek, Baron Hortastraat 9, Brussels